If I were like nine out of 10 moms, right now I would be elbowing to the front of the queue at The Children’s Place with a haul of kids’ clothes (fall collection) ready to pull out the plastic and charge over $250 augmenting my Grade 2 daughter’s and kindergarten-aged son’s back-to-school wardrobes.
Instead, I am spending the week before school starts in Fernie, B.C. where my kids are hiking, swimming in a lake, digging in a dirty sandbox and otherwise grinding soil into and wearing holes in what remains of their summer clothing.
I made the mistake of venturing into a Walmart at 2:45 on a Saturday afternoon earlier this month and was dismayed to see the mayhem that constitutes this shopping phenomenon. I’d forgotten that two years ago I wrote a cocktail column on this very subject that recommended toting along a little liquid courage: the Walmart Wallbanger.
At any rate, I just don’t get the need to rush out with all of Calgary to spend a ton of money buying new items for my children when last year’s backpack and lunch box will do. If the jeans and leggings and T-shirts still fit, we can wait until the fall sales to add more. Other bloggers are lamenting how we’re dressing our kids into bankruptcy and how it isn’t right they have newer and cuter clothes than Mom.
But beyond the financial wrongness of overspending on graphic tees and cargo pants — and beyond the priority wrongness of neglecting yourself by wearing baggy sweatpants with a scraggly hairdo while your daughter looks so darn cute everyone thinks you’re the dayhome lady instead of her mom — it strikes me that we’re sending our kids the wrong message by purchasing everything new all the time. Whatever happened to hand-me-downs and wearing something out? Half the time my daughter eschews the new tunic and skirt I thought were so cute in favour of her worn-in old T-shirt and hole-y leggings.
Our kids certainly don’t need and don’t necessarily want everything new, so maybe we should just stop it and enjoy the last week of summer vacation instead of fighting the back-to-school crowds.
What do you think? Back-to-school shopping — yay or nay?